Agenda and minutes

Stronger Place Select Committee - Tuesday 8th November 2022 7.30 pm

Contact: Laura Kirman  Email:


No. Item


Webcasting Introduction

This meeting is to be webcast. Members are reminded of the need to activate their microphones before speaking. The Chairman will read the following announcement:


“The Chairman would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the internet (or filmed) and will be capable of repeated viewing (or another use by such third parties).


If you are seated in the lower public seating area it is likely that the recording cameras will capture your image and this will result in the possibility that your image will become part of the broadcast.


This may infringe your human and data protection rights and if you wish to avoid this you should move to the upper public gallery.”

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The Chairman made a short address to remind everyone present that the meeting would be broadcast live to the internet, and would be capable of repeated viewing, which could infringe their human and data protection rights.



Substitute Members

To report the appointment of any substitute members for the meeting.

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The Committee noted that:

·       Cllr Janet Whitehouse would substitute for Cllr McCredie, and

·       Cllr Brookes would substitue for Cllr Judy Jennings.


Declarations of Interest

To declare interests in any item on the agenda.

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There were no declarations of interest pursuant to the Council’s Members’ Code of Conduct.



Notes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To agree the notes of the meeting of the Select Committee held on 5 July 2022.


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That the notes of the meeting held  on 5 July 2022 were agreed as a correct record.


Matters Arising and Outstanding Actions

To consider any matters arising and outstanding actions from the minutes of the previous meeting(s) that are not covered elsewhere in this agenda.


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There were no matters outstanding or actions that were not covered by the agenda.



Terms of Reference & Work Programme pdf icon PDF 70 KB

(Chairman/Lead Officer) The Overview and Scrutiny Committee has agreed the Terms of Reference and work programme for this select committee. Members are invited at each meeting to review both documents.

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Due to the death of Her Majesty the Queen, the meeting scheduled for the 13 September 2022 had been cancelled. Items marked for that meeting had been incorporated into the agenda for this meeting with the exception of the Market Policy which had been considered and approved by Cabinet. Members requested that a copy of the relevant papers be circulated.


The Committee noted the Terms of Reference and the Work Programme.



Litter Strategy pdf icon PDF 192 KB

(James Warwick) To note the report detailing the Epping Forest District Council Litter Strategy as approved by Cabinet and the next steps for the Litter Strategy.


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J Warwick (Acting Service Director (Contracts)


The Epping Forest District Council Litter Strategy as approved by Cabinet was presented to the Select Committee by James Warwick (Acting Service Director (Contracts). The three aims of the Litter Strategy were highlighted as:

  • Change the behaviour of people who felt it was acceptable to drop litter through education and social media campaigns,
  • Make it easy to dispose of litter, provide the appropriate facilities in the right places, and collect litter in a timely fashion, and
  • improve enforcement by exercising council powers to deal with anyone who drops litter.


He advised that the waste management team had started to implement a variety of actions to achieve the aims of the litter strategy. These included:

  • Development of a waste communications plan with regular social media posts, in conjunction Essex CC & Love Essex,
  • Delivering recycling and anti-litter workshops at local primary and secondary schools, working with the Youth Council,
  • Assessment of the current contractual arrangements for weed spraying,
  • Improved monitoring of gum clearance from Streets by Area Waste Officers,
  • Extending the trade waste collection service, and
  • The development of QR codes for street litter bins


The Committee

  • Commended the revisions made to the Draft Litter Strategy that had been brought to the Select Committee on 5 July 2022.
  • Noted the value of Community litter picks, J Warwick advised that the importance of these groups had been recognised with litter picking awards, that there would be continued  support with the supply of equipment and risk assessments, and the litter campaigns would recognised the importance of the voluntary groups and Town and Parish Councils.
  • Queried the level of fines and enforcement for fly tipping.  Mandy Thompson (Acting Service Director (Technical) advised the Committee that the £400 fine was for a fixed penalty notice (FPN) which could be issued without going to Court. The fines that could be issued by the Courts were unlimited, but those levied were not always substantial and taking a case to Court could be a lengthy process. There had been approximately 2000 report of fly tips in the last six months compared to 1,800 last year.  The number of FPNs issued had increased, 20 had been issued for the year to date in comparison to 13 for the full year in 2021/22. All reported fly tips were investigated, but the perpetrators were making it more difficult to find evidence within the fly tip. This year evidence had ad been found in 127 fly tips and investigations to follow the trail of where waste had originated were ongoing.
  • Suggested that Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and targets could improve the Litter Strategy.
  • Expressed frustration with litter from moving vehicles and stationary vehicles near food outlets. Mandy Thompson advised the Committee that littering offences could be reported to the Enforcement Team, a relevant vehicle registration number and a witness statement would be required before any further action could be taken.
  • Expressed concerns over the delay of the removal of fly tip, which contained hazardous waste, but understood  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.


Leisure Services Contract Update pdf icon PDF 129 KB

(James Warwick) To note and comment on the attached leisure services contract update.


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The update on the Council’s Leisure Services Contract District Council with Places for People Leisure (PFPL) was introduced by James Warwick, who advised the Committee that the Leisure Management Contract Partnership Board provided strategic oversight, supported by monthly contact management meetings wih officers.


The Committee were advised that the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) received effective scrutiny by Officers and Members, these showed that fitness membership levels remained below pre pandemic levels, whilst swimming membership and swimming lessons  had now recovered and surpassed the February 2020 figures.  During the Covid-19 pandemic, EFDC provided financial support, through monthly open book examination, to Places Leisure to maintain the operations of the leisure centres in the district. The recovery rates in leisure centre usage had enabled Places Leisure to resume the payment of management fees. The risks associated with increasing energy costs and relevant mitigation measures were highlighted.


The Committee were advised of the current timeline for the new leisure centre in Epping which was in the second stage of the procurement phase, the contract award was anticipated early 2023. The construction phase of the new Epping Leisure Centre was expected to commence Summer 2023, with a two-year construction period.


The Committee

·       Received confirmation that a decrease in use of the leisure centres was anticipated due to the current economic situation, this would be monitored against normal seasonal variations and work would continue to ensure that the pricing schedule was competitive.

·       That there would be no Health and Safety issues in relation to the shortage of swimming instructors., Places Leisure were aware of the regulations and had cancelled swimming lessons when there had not been enough staff, this situation was monitored.

·       Were advised that swimming pools were open for the same hours of use.

·       Suggested that pool covers should be instigated across all pools to ensure energy efficiency.

·       Challenged the need for a fourth pool and questioned the impact this may have on Ongar pool. J Warwick advised that a full viability study had been carried out for the pool in Epping, there was demand and waiting lists for swimming lessons in the District and with neighbouring authorities.  Ongar had £1.3m invested in the pool to ensure the lifetime of the pool was extended,

·       Asked if an incentive for parking discounts at leisure centre would encourage use, the impact would need to be considered in the whole as this would impact on car parking income but would be explored.



The Committee noted the report.


Waste Management Contract Update pdf icon PDF 136 KB

(James Warwick) To note and comment on the Waste Management Contract Update.


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The Interim Acting Service Director (Contracts), James Warwick, informed the Select Committee that the Council was in contract with Biffa Municipal Ltd. for the delivery of waste, street cleansing and processing of dry recycling services. Cabinet had agreed to go to run a full procurement process for this contract which would expire in November 2024.  Officers had started the procurement process and market engagement events had held with potential waste contractors.  A Portfolio Holders Advisory Group would be established to consider the current challenges and support the procurement of a new waste and recycling contract. 


The Committee were advised by J Warwick that the Waste Management Partnership Board provided a strategic oversight of the contract at senior officer and Member level, supported by monthly contact management meetings and daily monitoring and inspections by the waste and recycling team manager and area waste officers.


It was acknowledged that there had been unprecedented levels of missed collections over the course of this year. This was due to multiple factors including a national shortage of staff, in particular drivers and loaders; and the breakdown of vehicles, compounded by a lack of hire vehicles.  Biffa had implemented a variety of investments and initiatives to improve their performance including:  increased pay of operatives; trialling an Operational Support colleague to help track and drive improvements; procured two replacement footpath sweepers; sourced two replacement cage vehicles and a replacement van; purchased a new pick-up truck for the Streets Supervisor; developed a full refurbishment program for the 32t Scania fleet, and were trialling a better solution for Narrow Access Vehicles. 


The Committee:

·       Welcomed the opportunity to visit the Recycling facilities at Edmonton

·       Sought clarity on the wheeled bin trail and were advised that this would take place in Theydon Bois, although there would be some trails across the district.

This would help to determine if the current use of sacks and blue boxes could be replaced by a wheeled bin. No decision had been made and this was one option that could be considered by the Portfolio Holder Advisory Group.

·       Suggested that narrow access vehicle could be required when cars parked on both sides of the roads as well as rural areas with restricted access

·       Discussed the potential to charge for the collection of garden waste as other local authorities did. J Warwick advised that the new Environment Bill, if enacted, recommended that food and garden waste was collected free of charge. Cllr Philip advised that this service was a high value service for many residents.

·       Raised concerns that bins were not being repaired but replaced.

·       Received confirmation that when whole streets or known areas had missed collections these could be seen on the opening pages of the Council’s website.



J Warwick to organise a visit for members of the Select Committee to the recycling centre at Edmonton



The Committee commented on and commended the waste management contract update report.



Dates of Future Meetings

To note that future meetings of the Select Committee will be held at 7.00pm on 16 January 2023.

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The Committee noted their future meeting dates.